Next Friday can't come soon enough. And, at the same time, there is more to get done than I think is possible for that amount of time. I read in one of the stack of papers I was filling out for staging that I have to read the entire Volunteer Handbook before Friday. It's not a long book; it's just the least interesting of all the books/pamphlets the Peace Corps has ever given me, and there have been a lot since I started applying. It's full of safety regulations, baggage regulations, protocol for marrying a host country national... these kinds of things. I also tried for a time to get through some of the language lessons (I got through three, and I didn't even learn all of that). Then, I found out via facebook that no one else has really paid much attention to those, and I shouldn't really waste my time with it, when I have so much else to do. That was a relief. Also, I haven't packed one thing yet. Only six days left. I should probably get on that soon.
It's funny the things that people are concerned about when they hear you are moving to Africa for a couple of years. The number one question that I get from friends and family: Are you going to keep your hair the same length, or are you going to cut it short? At least 5 or 6 people have asked that, and not all of them women. To answer, I'm not going to cut it. I intend to continue with cutting only once a year. I still haven't figured out what my hair style has to do with it, but there's the answer. For most of the other questions people have about Botswana living conditions, and culture, the answer is 'I don't know.' I've never been to Botswana or Africa for that matter. And, most of what I hear from the Peace Corps is 'It depends.' Oh uncertainty, how you taunt well-meaning Peace Corps Volunteers.
I just learned my favorite fact about Botswana yesterday. My friend, Megan, is a kindergarten teacher. She was telling her class about me joining the Peace Corps and moving to Botswana. She got out a globe and pointed to Botswana. Then, all the kids started freaking out. "Ms. Metcalf! That's where Santa lives!" All of them agreed. Santa lives in Botswana, and Ms. Metcalf's friend gets to meet him. So, good news: I get to meet Santa. We'll probably become best friends. Jealous?